MERIDIAN -- Two West Ada School District trustees at the center of a recall effort are taking legal action and challenging the very petitions that could cost them their jobs.
Robert Huntley is the attorney representing Zone 5 Trustee Russell Joki and Zone 3 Trustee Carol Sayles. He filed a request for a temporary restraining order on the recall last Friday.
“To contest the fact that there's not enough signatures on the applications for class action certification on the petitions,” said Huntley. “The statute reads that you have to apply the number of voters that were in the last district election.”
The Ada County deputy clerk would not comment on the filing. Those behind the recall effort did gather 50 percent of voter signatures, but Huntley said they based the number of signatures off of the wrong election.
“They must've misinterpreted the statute to read simply the last trustee election,” said Huntley.
Huntley argues that the recall statute plainly states that petitioners are required to get 50 percent of the signatures of voters in the last election -- whether it was a trustee election or another general election in the school district. In this case, the last election in Canyon and Ada counties relative to the West Ada School District was a bond levy.
“So that requires several thousand signatures rather than roughly 500 or 600 that they've collected towards this recall,” said Huntley.
According to Huntley's interpretation of the statute, petitioners have only collected about 20 percent of the signatures required to recall his clients. But it will be a judge's interpretation of the statute that will decide if this recall moves forward.
“So we've asked for a temporary restraining order against the recall election going forward until the judge makes a decision,” said Huntley.